Bulls Host Western Michigan for Homecoming on Saturday

Crowd

               

Buffalo (3-2, 1-0 MAC) vs. Western Michigan (3-2, 1-0 MAC)
October 7, 2017
UB Stadium - 3:30 pm

Bulls on the Air

Radio

Buffalo - ESPN 1520
Rochester - Fox Sports 1280

Television

Storylines

• Buffalo trails the all-time series with Western Michigan, 6-2.

• The Bulls are looking to win their fourth straight game. The last time they won four in a row was 2013.

Emmanuel Reed has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games. The last UB running back with four straight 100-yard games was Anthone Taylor in 2014.

• The Bulls are averaging 10.2 points in the first quarter of games this season. They scored 10 points in the first quarter all of last year.

Khalil Hodge leads the MAC and ranks third in the nation in tackles, averaging 12.8 tackles per game. He has had two games of 15+ tackles this season (20 at Minnesota/17 vs. FAU).

• Buffalo leads the MAC in pass defense, allowing 156.4 yards per game. The Bulls have only allowed two passing touchdowns on the season.

• The Bulls rank second in the MAC in scoring defense, allowing 18.4 points per game. Buffalo finished the 2016 season ranked 10th in the MAC giving up an average of 32.3 points per game.

• Buffalo has averaged 53 rushing attempts per game over the last three contests.

• The Bulls are looking to start 2-0 in MAC play for just the second time since joining the conference in 1999. They started the 2013 season 5-0.
 
Bulls Host Western Michigan for Homecoming
The University at Buffalo football team will  be in search of its fourth straight win when it hosts Western Michigan on Saturday afternoon.         
 
The Bulls are 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the MAC and are coming off a 27-13 win at Kent State last Saturday. The Bulls were led by Emmanuel Reed who rushed for a career-high 144 yards and three touchdowns in the game.
 
Western Michigan is 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the MAC and is coming off a 55-3 win over Ball State last Saturday. The Broncos are led by running back Jamauri Bogan who ha rushed for 355 yards and a pair of scores on the year. 
 
Western Michigan leads the all-time series, 6-2. The Broncos won the last meeting, 38-0, at Waldo Stadium last season.

Reed All About It
Emmanuel Reed is having a breakout season for the Bulls. The sophomore running back has had three straight 100-yard rushing performances. He rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown against Colgate; 107 yards against Florida Atlantic and 144 yards and three scores at Kent State - the latter two were as a starter..
 
If Reed starts and rushes for 100 yards against Western Michigan, he'd be the first running back in the Bulls FBS era (since 1999) to rush for 100+ yards in each of his first three starts. He would also become the first running back since Anthone Taylor in 2015 to rush for 100+ in four straight games.
 
Reed was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance against Kent State.

Off to a Good Start
A season ago, the Bulls scored a total of 10 points in the first quarter of games. This year, Buffalo has gotten off to much better starts, scoring in the first quarter of every game so far. The Bulls have scored a total of 51 points in the first quarter of games this season. A year ago, UB scored only 10 points in the first quarter all year.
 
In three of their last four games, the Bulls scored on their opening possession – something they did only once last year.
 
Against Colgate, UB scored 20 points in the first quarter, the most it scored in the first quarter of a game since scoring 21 at Temple in 2007. 

Just How They Drew it Up
When starting quarterback Tyree Jackson left the FAU game with an injury just before halftime, the Bulls inserted Drew Anderson, a quarterback with one pass attempt in his UB career.
 
The junior signal-caller looked like a polished veteran when he got in to the game. Anderson was 7-of-9 passing for 109 yards and a touchdown. His 20-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Johnson, with under three minutes remaining, iced the game for the Bulls. 
 
Anderson made his first career start at Kent State and finished 11-of-18 for 142 yards and a touchdown and added 76 yards rushing in a 27-13 victory.
 
Anderson has a good quarterback resume. He transferred from Diablo Valley College in 2016 where he passed for 346 yards a game with 33 TDs. He put up even bigger numbers in high school, throwing for 4,074 yards and 47 TDs his senior season at Miramonte High School in California.

Sack Lunch
Heading into the Kent State game last week, the Bulls had a total of three sacks on the season. Buffalo posted four sacks against Kent State by four different players. Khalil Hodge, Demone Harris, Chuck Harris and Jordan Collier all registered sacks for the Bulls. It was the most sacks in a game by a UB team since having four against Ohio on Oct. 24, 2015.

Big Play Bulls
Through five games, the Bulls have recorded eight plays of 45 or more yards. This is a stark difference from a season ago when Buffalo had only five plays of 45+ yards all season.        
 
Junior wide receiver Anthony Johnson has played a major role in this as he has made a big play in three games. He had a 50-yard catch at Minnesota, a 52-yard catch at Army and a 46-yard grab against Army.

Picking Up The Slack
Cornerback Tatum Slack is enjoying a great start to the season. The junior California native has eight pass breakups on the year, one shy of the MAC lead. He had the best game of his career with six tackles, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and three pass breakups against Florida Atlantic. He has had six pass breakups over the last three games.

Running of the Bulls
The Bulls have averaged 53 carries per game over the last three games. UB ran the ball 57 times against FAU and 58 times for in its win over Colgate. The 58 rush attempts tied for the second most in a game in the Bulls' FBS era (since 1999). UB also rushed the ball 58 times in a win at Bowling Green in 2010. The FBS-era record for most carries in a game is 62 in a 26-17 win against Ohio in 2003.

Hodge Ball
Khalil Hodge leads the MAC and ranks third in the nation in tackles, averaging 12.8 tackles per game.
   
In the season opener against Minnesota, the junior linebacker recorded a career-high 20 tackles. It was the most tackles in a game by a UB player since Davonte Shannon had 20 against Army in 2008.
   
Hodge was named the MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 4.
   
He has also had double-digit tackle performances against Army (11) and Florida Atlantic (17) and Kent State (11).
   
Last season, Hodge had 123 tackles – the eight-most in school history for a single season. He ranked seventh in the nation, averaging 10.25 tackles per game. Hodge was an All-MAC Second Team selection in 2016.
 
Charles in Charge
Chuck Harris is making the most of his first season as a starter. The junior defensive end ranks second on the team in tackles with 29. He has already surpassed his season total of 18 tackles over 12 games in 2016.
 
Harris has posted at least five tackles in all five games this season. He had a career-high eight tackles at Army on Sept. 9. Of his 29 tackles, 19 are solo - ranking him second on the team.

What a Debut!
It was quite a debut for Anthony Johnson as the junior wide receiver, playing in his first game for the Bulls, had 11 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown against Minnesota in the season opener. Johnson's 11 catches were two shy of the single-game school record. He had eight catches for 115 yards in the first half alone. In the second quarter, Johnson had a 50-yard reception and followed with 16-yard touchdown reception on the very next play. Four of his 11 catches in the game went for more than 10 yards.
 
Johnson, who redshirted last season after transferring from Iowa Western Community College, leads the team in receiving with
26 catches for 436 yards and three touchdowns.

Roberts Named Semifinalist for Campbell Trophy
Senior safety Tim Roberts has been named a semifinalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy, the National Football Foundation announced on Sept. 27. Considered by many to be the "Academic Heisman," the Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
 
Roberts is a social science interdisciplinary major with a 3.68 grade point average. A second-year starter for the Bulls, he ranks fourth on the team in tackles with 22, including a tackle for loss. For his career, Roberts has 86 tackles and a pair of interceptions.
 
Of the 181 semifinalists, Roberts is one of 71 from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and one of eight from the Mid-American Conference.

No Fly Zone
Buffalo leads the MAC in pass defense allowing 156.4 yards per game through the air. The Bulls have only allowed two touchdown passes on the season. UB is one of only five teams in the nation to allow two or fewer touchdown passes this season, joining Michigan State, Georgia, UTSA, Idaho.

T3
Tyree Jackson is off to a solid start at quarterback this season. The sophomore signal-caller has thrown for 733 yards and three touchdowns and has rushed for 227 yards and four more scores. 
 
Jackson is building on his strong freshman campaign in which he started eight games. He finished last season 165-for-311 for 1,772 yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was the Bulls' second leading rusher, gaining 472 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. He threw for 302 yards against Ohio and 306 yards against Ball State last season to become the first freshman quarterback in school history to throw for 300 yards in a game. 

A History of Running Backs
If he can keep up his current pace, Emmanuel Reed could be the next UB running back to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season. The Bulls have featured 1,000-yard running backs in six of the last 10 seasons, including three of their last four. Prior to 2007, UB had only three 1,000-yard rushers in the history of the program.
 
Year, Player, Yards
2007, James Starks, 1,103
2008, James Starks, 1,333
2011, Branden Oliver, 1,395
2013, Branden Oliver, 1,535
2014, Anthone Taylor, 1,403
2016, Jordan Johnson, 1,040

O'Hagan Named to Rimington Trophy Watch List
James O'Hagan was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List. The award is giving annually to the nation's top center. This is the second straight year UB's junior center has been named to the watch list.
 
O'Hagan is coming off the best season of his career. He started all 12 games of 2016 and was named All-MAC Third Team. O'Hagan has been the anchor of the Bulls' offensive over the past two season, starting all 24 games. 

Mitch Perfect
Kicker Adam Mitcheson was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Special Teams Player of the Week after a solid performance in Buffalo's win over Florida Atlantic.
 
Mitcheson made both of his field goal attempts in the victory. The junior kicker made a 23-yarder as time expired in the first half to tie the game at 17. He then made a clutch 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. His season-long field goal extended the UB lead to 27-17 with 10:54 left in the game. Mitcheson was also a perfect 4-for-4 on extra points in the game.
 
Fake News
For the second straight season, the Bulls will play every game on artificial turf. Buffalo is one of 18 teams that will play all its games on artificial turf this season. Ohio State, Washington State, Kansas State, Wyoming, Utah State, Air Force, UNLV, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Miami (Ohio), Western Kentucky, Charlotte, UT-San Antonio, Arkansas State, Idaho and Coastal Carolina will also play all of its games on turf.   
 
Bulls Add Grad Transfer from Cal
Defensive end Kennedy Emesibe has joined the team as a graduate transfer. Emesibe joined the Bulls after spending three seasons with the Cal Bears. Emesibe was a reserve defensive end for the Bears after a standout high school career in which he was ranked the 35th best defensive end in the nation his senior season.   
 
Team Captains Named
Five players were voted team captains for the 2017 season. Players voted senior wide receiver Jamarl Eiland, senior linebacker Jarrett Franklin, senior defensive end Demone Harris, junior linebacker Khalil Hodge and junior center James O'Hagan were voted captains for the upcoming season.
 
It's All Relative
The UB football team features a pair of players related to two of the top five picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Junior wide receiver Anthony Johnson is the cousin of top pick Jadeveon Clowney. Junior linebacker Ledarius Mack is the younger brother of former UB All-American and fifth pick Khalil Mack.
 
On The Airwaves
Again this season, University at Buffalo football can be heard locally on ESPN 1520, a 50,000-watt station with one of the strongest signals in the nation. The Bulls can also be heard on 1280 AM in Rochester.  
 
Calling all the play-by-play action of Bulls football for his 18th year, and 10th consecutive, will be Paul Peck. Scott Wilson will serve as analyst after previously serving as sideline reporter. Brad Riter also returns as game host. 
 
Again this season, the UB Football postgame show will take place at Santora's on Millersport with host Bob Gaughan.
 
Peck hosts the UB Football Insider with Lance Leipold on Monday nights at 5:30 pm. The show air on ESPN 1520 and be broadcast live from the Santora's Transit Road location.
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